I Can Pick ’em

Seats on the bus, that is. Today, on my way back from Bostonland, I picked out a lovely window seat about a third of the way from the back. I was near the bathroom, in full view of the TV screen and on my preferred side. (Right. I don’t know why.)

Shortly after I sat down, the bus got FULL. I mean, like, nearly SRO full. So it wasn’t a big shock when the seat next to me got snapped up, in this case by a very nice 30ish woman who appeared only to speak Mandarin. (OK, not quite true. She did ask me what time it was at one point, in pretty good English. Still, I’m deaf and stupid about accents, so I had to ask her to repeat herself four times.)

Anyway, she was a good seat mate for most of the trip. Her husband was sitting in front of her and she spent most of the time talking to him. Then we rolled into New York and she started making this gacking sound deep down in her throat, picked up a plastic bag, and started HORKING UP CHUNKS.

I immediately freaked out and started feeling for the escape panel. Fun fact about me: I can throw up at the drop of a hat. I’m like the Fly, for reals-for reals. Just the smell of puke makes me want to do my impression of a sea cucumber.

I didn’t throw. But I did spend the rest of the ride training my nose into the crook of my wrist, which I had fortunately and for once remembered to perfume that morning.

Pukey Girl? Yeah, she didn’t even bat an eye. She didn’t get up to go to the bathroom and she didn’t even pop a piece of gum. Now that’s being used to vomiting, people.

I managed to maintain my cool until she tried to lean across me – still holding her bag of vomit– to point out the many glorious sights of 34th street. Then I had to say, “I’m sorry, but you REALLY NEED TO BACK UP.”


Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

4 thoughts on “I Can Pick ’em

  1. I feel for you. The last time I took mass transit I had a similar experience. I’m a nurse and I can handle many things in that environment, I just ask that you don’t smell. The last time I took the train out of philadelphia, I too took the window seat and a Homeless looking couple sat next to me. Thank good it was winter! I spent the entire 90 minutes Breathing into my coat…

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